Kock now also quits WPCA

‘Reck­less trad­ing’ given as rea­son for res­ig­na­tion

Cape Argus - - SPORT - ZAAHIER ADAMS zaahier.adams@inl.co.za

AD­VO­CATE Nic Kock stepped down as West­ern Province Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion (WPCA) pres­i­dent at the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing last night, cit­ing fears of “po­ten­tial reck­less trad­ing”.

The term of Kock, who suc­ceeded cur­rent Cricket South Africa vice-pres­i­dent Beresford Wil­liams, lasted 16 months – the short­est in WPCA his­tory.

He is the lat­est mem­ber of the WPCA ex­ec­u­tive board to re­sign af­ter in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tors Fagh­miedah Petersen-Cook, Mus­taq Brey, Mandla Mgogoshe, Suli­man “Solly” Ma­homed, Garth van Gensen and non-in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tor Richard Noor all parted ways in re­cent months.

The last re­main­ing in­de­pen­dent di­rec­tor Itume­leng Lan­geni also re­signed last evening.

It cer­tainly has been a tu­mul­tuous pe­riod af­ter the en­tire WPCA ex­ec­u­tive board was sus­pended last Novem­ber by Cricket SA.

The sus­pen­sion was later over­turned af­ter an ar­bi­tra­tion process is­sued their re­in­state­ment af­ter the WPCA had filed an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion against Cricket SA.

“The last few months have been ‘in­ter­est­ing’ to say the least,” Kock told In­de­pen­dent Me­dia.

“I have al­ways been pas­sion­ate about serv­ing this won­der­ful game of ours and strived to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where we are able to change lives, but the rep­u­ta­tional dam­age suf­fered as a con­se­quence over the past months has been ir­rec­on­cil­able.

“To­gether with some of the board mem­bers that have re­cently re­signed we be­lieve that sign­ing of the pro­posed lease agree­ments to the value of R12-mil­lion an­nu­ally in the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate could be per­ceived as reck­less trad­ing.”

The WPCA are in the midst of a R750mil­lion build­ing project at New­lands. The de­vel­op­ment should po­ten­tially con­sist of four new of­fice blocks erected on the north­ern precinct of the sta­dium that is to be leased for of­fice space.

San­lam is the pri­mary share­holder who pro­vided 51% of the fund­ing for the de­vel­op­ment, while the WPCA are re­spon­si­ble for the other 49%, which in­cludes an out­stand­ing loan of ap­prox­i­mate R40-mil­lion to Cricket SA.

The first phase of the de­vel­op­ment was ex­pected to be con­cluded in De­cem­ber 2020 but has now been post­poned to June 2021.

This was the re­sult of the build­ing process hav­ing come to a com­plete stand­still for two months due to the Covid19 en­forced lock­down.

De­spite lock­down re­stric­tions be­ing eased over the en­su­ing months, the build­ing ca­pac­ity has re­sumed to only 30%.

The im­pact of the de­lay has the po­ten­tial to fi­nan­cially crip­ple the WPCA with the cricket body ex­pected to enter into a ren­tal agree­ment with co-own­ers in the re­gion of R12-mil­lion an­nu­ally.

The sit­u­a­tion has been ex­ac­er­bated with Kock also serv­ing as chief ex­ec­u­tive of WPCA af­ter the re­tire­ment of the longserv­ing Nabeal Dien at the end of last sea­son.

Fur­ther­more, the WPCA are cur­rently with­out a sta­dium rights spon­sor while World Sports Bet­ting has also ter­mi­nated their team spon­sor­ship agree­ment with the Cape Co­bras.

Kock will, though, not be lost en­tirely to cricket as he will con­tinue in his po­si­tion as chair­per­son of the Sports Skills for Life Skills (SSLS) non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that helps pre­vi­ously dis­ad­van­taged stu­dents at the Univer­sity of West­ern Cape to en­hance their tal­ent in sport whilst also pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity to ob­tain a ter­tiary education.

“I be­lieve right now I am able to serve the game much more in this ca­pac­ity, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing this highly-emo­tion­ally charged pe­riod our game is cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing.

“Black lives have al­ways mat­tered to us at UWC not only on the cricket field but in the class­room too and we will con­tinue work­ing more than ever now.”

Nic Kock

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